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    America Resilient and Ready When Called to Respond

    COMLOG WESTPAC/CTF 73 Holds Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony

    Photo By Gregory Johnson | 7TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Sept. 11, 2021) – Chief Master-at-Arms Alexis...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Parker 

    Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific

    Leaders from several commands held a wreath-laying ceremony at the Building 7-4 flagpole on Sept. 11, in honor of the lives lost during the terrorist attacks on that date 20 years ago.

    While the ceremony was limited to participants only due to COVID considerations, Americans throughout the U.S. military community reflected on the events that changed a nation, where they were when they learned the news and their lasting impact.

    Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific and Task Force 73, had just landed in Bahrain from USS Enterprise (CVN 65). At the time, he was the operations officer for Destroyer Squadron 50 and Task Force 55, commands charged with supporting the Iraqi oil and food program, specifically countering illegal oil smuggling.

    “Little did I know while we were in the air [en route from the ship to Bahrain], the USS Enterprise was already turning around based on the news of a terrorist attack,” Sobeck said.

    “Once we entered the 5th Fleet compound, we saw [on the news] the first tower in flames.”

    While he recalls where he was and what he was doing, the admiral also remembers exactly what he felt – gratitude for the support of naval colleagues whose countries partnered with the United States in the wake of the attacks.

    “Two sentiments from that day have always stayed with me: ‘We are stronger together’ and ‘We got you mate!’

    “That is what the commanding officer of HMAS Anzac said to me as I was briefing him on what had happened and our response.”

    Sobeck explains that HMAS Anzac was the first ship underway from Bahrain in response to the attacks in the United States.

    “Operation Enduring Freedom was a global response, and it has shaped every aspect of my career in the Navy,” he adds.

    Anzac continues to be important to the admiral, even in his current role. Military Sealift Command’s USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) recently resupplied the Royal Australian Navy ship while operating in the South China Sea.

    The United States’ response to the attacks demonstrates the resiliency and readiness of the nation – whether first responders, risking their lives to rescue others or Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen and partners who commit to ensuring security and stability.

    “Every person in our country who was living during 9/11 was affected in some way. We know what adversity is, and we know how to respond as a nation when needed,” said Sobeck.

    COMLOG WESTPAC’s Command Master Chief Jonathon Carter believes resolve and resilience are hallmarks of the nation and says they’ve been proven multiple times in the country’s history.

    “Regardless of what is going on across our great nation, we always come together in troubling times and work through as a nation united, keeping us the land of the free and home of the brave,” he said.

    On a more personal level, Carter says 9/11 changed his outlook.

    “It increased my sensitivity to the people and the surroundings I encounter every day -- knowing going in that many of those around me or interact with may want to do me, my family or my country harm.”

    Leaders throughout the Department of Defense say they will always remember and honor the victims and the families of the 9/11 attacks. They pledge to ensure that future generations learn about what transpired and continue to share the unity of the nation as it grieved and healed together.

    “Never forget what those before us went through and continue to move forward as: ‘one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,’” Sobeck said.

    He adds that another time may come when American are called to respond during a time of need.

    “Look to serve beyond self and make your community stronger together.”



    Date Taken: 09.11.2021
    Date Posted: 09.11.2021 01:32
    Story ID: 404964

    Web Views: 175
    Downloads: 0